Harold D. Brand, Jr., 63, of Godfrey, went home to be with his Lord on Friday, April 18, 2014 in the comfort of his home, with his wife and son at his side. Harold was born February 20, 1951, in Alton, the son of the late Harold D. Brand, Sr. and Ann L. (Leonard) Brand. He married Mary L. Wille on April 15, 1972, at St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Godfrey. She survives.
Harold attended SS Peter & Paul grade school, and graduated from Marquette High School in 1969. He spent most of his career in the grocery business, starting at the A & P Food Store on Washington Avenue in Alton when he was 16 years old. He became the man of the house at 17, taking care of his mother and little sister, Diane, after his father passed away. Harold later switched careers, to the convenience store business. He worked as a manager for 7-Eleven Stores, then for Hartog Oil Company managing Phillips 66 stores. A short stint working as a Service Manager for Orkin Pest Control convinced him that the retail business was his home, so he returned, managing the Amoco Food shop at Broadway and Washington in Alton for Thomas Oil Company. There was a time when people would say that Harold’s store had the best fried chicken and fish sandwiches around town, and there was always fresh popcorn. Later in life, Harold made another career switch, getting out of the rat-race of convenience stores, moving into lawn care. He always said it was nice to make his own hours, but it would have helped if Mother Nature had cooperated now and then. Harold took great pride in his work, and he liked to say that his lawns were well-manicured, once finished. He loved boating, and often talked of his childhood days when his family spent many weekends on the Mississippi River in their cabin cruiser, which his dad had named the “Ann”, for his mother. Harold and Mary’s favorite pastime was fishing together. Several of their high school dates were spent fishing at the Brighton home of his aunt and uncle, Les and Lu Craig. After they were married, they camped and fished at Otter Lake in Palmyra, and also took many annual summer vacations in Minnesota. There, they would spend hours in the boat together, whether the fish were biting or not- enjoying the lake and the serenity. Very seldom did one of them go fishing without the other- and the ham sandwiches-“because they were going to be out there a long time.” Harold and Eric also shared fishing trips together, and their common love of boats, fast cars, and rock’n roll. He was a member of Alton Eagles FOE #254. In addition to his wife of 42 years, Harold is survived by their son, Eric Brand and his loving partner; Jodie Schenk, three grandchildren, Joseph and Myra Brand of Godfrey, and Jakiah Brand, of Claremore, OK, one sister, Diane, of Mesa, AZ, numerous brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, and close friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his step-father; Hubert “Daddy Huey” Dwiggins.
Visitation will be Monday, April 21, 2014 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at GENT Funeral Home in Alton. A mass of Christian burial will be at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday with Monsignor Steffen to officiate at SS Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Alton. Burial will be at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Godfrey, beside his father, who he missed tremendously. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Crisis food Center, Inc., at 21 E. 6th St., in Alton or to the charity of your choice. Additional information and online guest book may be found at www.gentfuneralhome.com